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Wits cyclists raise funds for deaf babies

- Refilwe Mabula

Deaf babies given hope through the Cape Cycle Race fundraising initiative.

Wits staff members, Dr Johan Swanepoel from Wits Plus and Dr Alex Schoeman of the School Of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies, were part of the group that cycled in support of HI HOPES.

Thirty-six brave women and men, who supported HI Hopes participated in the Cape Cycle Race on Sunday, 6 March 2016, three days after the International Hearing Day.

The group cycled in their orange regalia in support of Team HI HOPES, to help raise funds for deaf and hard-of-hearing babies in South Africa.

HI HOPES is the community outreach arm of the Centre for Deaf Studies with the objective to give deaf and hard of hearing babies and children every opportunity to develop normally and enjoy the same opportunities as their hearing peers.

“I am proud to have cycled my first Cape Town cycle race for HI HOPES, which does very important work with deaf and hard-of-hearing children and their families.

“HI HOPES helps these children to navigate their conditions and to reach their full potential. I really enjoyed the ride. The scenery on the 109km route was spectacular, and the camaraderie amongst the cyclists was uplifting. I am definitely doing it again!”, says Schoeman.

With approximately R36000 which was raised for Wits at the Cape Cycle Race, compassionate runners are now urged to participate in both the Two Oceans and the Comrades marathon which are underway as an opportunity to raise more funds for HI HOPES to give deaf children the chance of a normal, happy and productive life.

“This kind of fundraising ensures that our service is freely available to any parent, regardless of their ability to pay – providing them with comfort and support, says HI HOPES Development Fundraising Coordinator, Eunice Sediti. According to Sediti, common questions parents ask include: Will my baby ever hear my voice? Will he or she learn to speak? Will he have to wear a hearing aid? ... go to a special school? Will we need to learn sign language? And what does the future hold?” 

Any form of support  through these ways will be greatly appreciated: